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Best Time and Season to Visit Turkey: Complete Guide

Team AckoJan 25, 2023

Want a holiday filled with sun-kissed Mediterranean beaches, historical sites galore, toasty weather, and mouth-watering delicacies that are as unique as they are delicious? You may want to pack up your bags and head to the traveller’s treasure trove, that is, Turkey. This transcontinental wonder, which is ideally situated between Asia and Europe and also goes by the name Turkiye, is a destination that should not be missed. It has the makings of a fantastic holiday destination, as there are so many things to do and see here. Whether you want to walk through the ruins of the Roman, Greek, or Ottoman empires, which have all been a part of the country’s rich history, or just take a relaxing cruise along the Aegean Sea while sipping on the delightful Turkish tea, this is the place to be. So here’s how you can decide when might be the best time to visit Turkey.

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Contents

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When is the best time to visit Turkey?

The best time to visit Turkey is their peak tourist season, which comprises the months of June, July, and August. 

Turkey can be a year-round destination. Its climate is varied across regions, and each region can offer something to do when another cannot. If you want to visit the blue beaches of Turkey, then summer is the time to do it. 

If summer and the related heat aren’t your thing, the Turkish snow slopes can beckon in the winter months. There are many historical ruins littered across the country in areas such as Ephesus, Göbekli Tepe, Hattusa, and Aphrodisias that history buffs can visit and make a tour of on their own. But visiting some of them during the summer months is not recommended, as the heat can make it a very uncomfortable experience as there are hardly any spaces to take shelter and escape the sun here. Spring and fall can be better times to explore these areas.

Another factor to take into consideration is which months Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, two very important events in the Islamic world, fall in the lunar calendar. This period sees locals on the move, and some establishments may even close or reduce operational hours. So the best time to go to Turkeyreally depends on you and the kinds of experiences you think are ideal for you during your trip to Turkey.

When is the best season to visit Turkey?

The best season to visit Turkey from India can be their tourist season, also known as peak season. Here’s an overview of the different tourist seasons of Turkey.

Peak season: Peak season falls between June and August, which are also hot summer months. Even though the days can feel like an inferno inland, many tourists and locals head to the beaches along Turkey’s vast coastline this time of year. This is also the best time to visit Bodrum Turkey, to take a lovely cruise on the Turkish Riviera or just enjoy the pleasant weather there while taking in the fantastic views of the Aegean coast.

Shoulder season: April, May, September, and October fall under Turkey’s shoulder season. These are basically the spring and fall months, when the temperatures are reasonably pleasant. These two seasons are good for outdoor activities and even taking in some of Turkey’s well-known historical marvels. Because crowds from the peak season have mostly dissipated, fall is a good time to plan a beach vacation.

Low season: Turkey’s low season is its winter months between November and March. But crowds do come into play when ski season kicks off in December. With the exception of ski resorts, this is a great time for budget travellers looking for a cool holiday in Turkey.

A month-by-month guide to travel in Turkey

Here’s a month-wise Turkey travel guide.

Turkey in January

January is a cold month. Snowfall falls in Cappadocia, allowing the ski season to flourish on Mt. Erciyes. You can also head to Uludağ, Erzurum, Kars, or Kartepe to enjoy the ski season. Beach vacations may be out of the question, as many resorts along the west and southwest coasts are closed during this time. But the famous Turkish hammams and thermal spas can keep you cosy during these chilly times. This is the low season for tourism in Turkey, making it one of the best times to visit Turkey from India,especially if you want to enjoy the winter weather, ski sports, great deals on flights and hotels, and no jostling crowds at major attractions.

Temperature range to expect: 3 Degrees Celsius to 16 Degrees Celsius

Events: Ski Season, Greek Orthodox Epiphany, Camel Wrestling Championship

Turkey in February

The cold climate persists this month as well. You can still catch the ski season this month, but spring is just around the corner. A great place to head to for skiing this month would be the Köroğlu Mountains. There may be some rain in the offing too. This is the best time to travel to Turkey to take in the country’s historical sites in Gallipoli or the hot springs in Pamukkale. Spring is making its arrival known in Datça with almonds coming into bloom.

Temperature range to expect: 3 Degrees Celsius to 16 Degrees Celsius

Events: Ski Season, Datça Almond Blossom Festival, Camel Wrestling Championship

Turkey in March

The beginning of March can still be cold, but towards the end of the month, spring makes more of its presence felt with temperatures climbing up. Some rain also lingers this month. This is the last month to catch the ski season. The Nevruz festivities usher in spring. This is the final month of the low season, so take advantage of the great deals on flights and accommodations. You can also visit museums and galleries without being hampered by tourists.

Temperature range to expect: 10 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Events: Ski Season, Nevruz, Istanbul Dance Festival, Camel Wrestling Championship, 

Turkey in April

Istanbul is awash with colour, thanks to tulips coming into full bloom, signalling that spring has indeed arrived with a riot of colours. But spring is not without rain in Istanbul. April is the best month to visit Turkey,as the weather is mild and enjoyable for visiting many of Turkey's historical landmarks. This is also a great time to go hiking in the southern parts of the country.

Temperature range to expect: 10 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Events: Istanbul Tulip Festival, Istanbul Film Festival

Turkey in May

The weather in Turkey in May is generally pleasant, but there may be some rain. May is the best month to go to Turkey, where you can take in the lovely blooms across the country and go on hiking expeditions. Since summer, and hence peak season, is around the corner, this could be a great month to avoid tourists and sightsee peacefully at many of Turkey’s ancient wonders under a mild spring sun. Some beach resorts may open just ahead of peak season, but check ahead and make reservations.

Temperature range to expect: 10 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Events: Hıdrellez

Turkey in June

Peak season arrives as the weather in Turkey in June turns hot. Beaches in the Mediterranean and Aegean coastal regions are bustling, so ensure that you make your bookings in advance. The temperatures are going up in Istanbul and Ankara, and this is generally true of inland areas. The ancient sights around the country may be a bit difficult to tackle in the heat, but if you can manage it, you may be able to see them crowd-free.

Temperature range to expect: 24 Degrees Celsius to 48 Degrees Celsius

Events: Cappadox Festival, Istanbul Music Festival, International Bursa Festival, Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival 

Turkey in July

July is another hot month with sun worshippers flocking to the coastal regions to bask in the heat. Water sports are a great way to beat the heat and are available along the Mediterranean coastline. Another region that offers more pleasant climates is Cappadocia, with its inviting blooms. 

Temperature range to expect: 24 Degrees Celsius to 48 Degrees Celsius

Events: Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival, Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race, Istanbul Jazz Festival

Turkey in August

August is hot and dry with no humidity in the air. Beaches are crowded, but inland there are fewer tourists. Though August is the best time to visit Turkey's beaches,you can also consider taking cruises around the coastal regions to enjoy their clear blue waters.

Temperature range to expect: 24 Degrees Celsius to 48 Degrees Celsius

Events: Turkish Victory Day, Bodrum Ballet Festival, Ephesus Opera and Ballet Festival

Turkey in September

Autumn is much more forgiving than the scorching summer heat in Turkey, and the days are shorter as well. September may start off hot, but as the month progresses, the climate turns more pleasant. With the peak season coming to a close, the beaches are a bit more empty. This is a great time to score some deals on a beach vacay here, and you can get the beaches all to yourself as well. Going inland and exploring historical ruins is a better experience in the fall when compared to the summer. 

Temperature range to expect: 12 Degrees Celsius to 29 Degrees Celsius

Events: International Istanbul Biennial, Bozcaada Vintage Festival

Turkey in October

Theweather in Turkey in October continues to be warm and pleasant, with little to no rain. Since this is a shoulder season month and a stretch where the weather gods are working in your favour, it's a good time to head to this country. If you love the great outdoors, then weather won’t be a factor that hinders your explorations this month. The famous Lycian Way and Silk Route can be added to your schedule. Beaches and cruises are also a great way to spend your October in Turkey, as they are less crowded. Some resorts in the coastal areas may be closed for business towards the middle of this month, so check and then make plans. October is generally thebest time to visit Turkey weather wise.

Temperature range to expect: 12 Degrees Celsius to 29 Degrees Celsius

Events: Republic Day, International Wine Festival, International Bodrum Sailing Cup

Turkey in November

Winter sets in, the temperatures start dropping, and some rain is also in the offing. The low season also kicks off due to Turkey's climate. This is still a great time to visit the country if you don’t mind the plunging temperatures and want to see a different side of Turkey without tourists. 

Temperature range to expect: 3 Degrees Celsius to 16 Degrees Celsius

Events: Ankara International Film Festival, Istanbul Marathon, Istanbul Theater Festival

Turkey in December

Ski season kicks off this month, as Turkey in December is a mix of snow and rain. The coastal regions can offer some warmth, especially Antalya. The hot springs in Pamukkale can also be very inviting this time of the year. Fans of the iconic poet Rumi should head to Konya, which celebrates his art for 7 days in December.

Temperature range to expect: 3 Degrees Celsius to 16 Degrees Celsius

Events: Konya Mevlana (Rumi) and Whirling Dervish Festival

When is the cheapest time to visit Turkey?

The shoulder season and the low season are the cheapest times to visit Turkey. But keep in mind that ski resorts can cost more during the low season, which is the peak season for skiing in the country, even though Turkey is known for its affordable skiing experience. It’s easier to get deals on flights and accommodations during these two tourist seasons when compared to peak season, where bookings have to be made well in advance and at pricer rates.

When is the most expensive time to visit Turkey?

The peak season months of June through August are the most expensive months to visit the country, especially if you want to visit the country's Mediterranean and Aegean coastlines for a beach vacation. It may be better to head to these regions in the fall to cut down on expenditure and overcrowding.

When is the best season to visit Turkey to experience snowfall?

The winter months between December and March are a great time to catch snowfall in this transcontinental country. Areas such as Cappadocia turn into snow-filled winter wonderlands. You can enjoy the snow either by hitting the ski slopes in Bursa, Erzurum, Kars, and Kartepe or by taking a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia.

When is the best time to visit Turkey's beaches?

Beautiful beaches can be found on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts of Turkey. The best time to visit Turkey beaches would be in the summer, between June and August. But this is also peak season for beach seekers, so prices for a holiday in Turkey would skyrocket then. The fall months between September and October are a more budget-friendly option. Some resorts may start closing down by mid-October. Some famous beach towns are Alanya, Bodrum, Marmaris, and Antalya.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions and answers related to the best time to visit Turkey.

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When is the tourist season in Turkey?

The peak tourist season in Turkey is between June and August. This is when the beaches are packed to the brim and can be considered the best time of the year to visit Turkey. When the ski season begins from December onward, the peak season for the snow slopes starts and ends around March.

Which is Turkey's coldest month?

February is considered to be the coldest month in Turkey. This month, temperatures can dip to a low of 3 degrees Celsius at nighttime. The winter season stretches from November to March here. Skiing is the best way to spend your winter vacation here, or you can soak in the famous hot springs and thermal spas in Turkey.

When is the cheapest time to go to Turkey?

A budget traveller to Turkey can hope to get good deals during the shoulder and off-seasons. Weather plays a key role in deciding what can be considered a cheap time to visit the country. Summer, which is usually the best season to visit Turkey, is also an expensive season, especially for beach resort towns. But the ski resorts become more expensive between the months of December and March.

When is the best time to visit Turkey for hot air balloons?

Turkey’s Cappadocia can be considered its hot air balloon capital. These rides last anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. The best time to visit Turkey for hot air balloons is between April and June and September and October, when the weather can be more pleasant. The winter months can also be a good time to take in the wonders of Cappadocia, such as the Fairy Chimneys, but the weather can play spoilsport with rides being cancelled.

When is the best time to visit Bodrum?

Bodrum is a well-known beach getaway in Turkey. As with most beach destinations, the best time to visit Bodrum is in the summer. But it can also be packed around this time. The fall season, especially the month of September, can also be a good time to visit this area when the crowds start dwindling. Spring is also a great time to visit Bodrum. Winter can be chilly, so taking a dip in the waters is not advisable, but you can still take in the other sightseeing opportunities this city has to offer.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.

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